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Self-referentiality Owing to the pervasive and increasingly interconnected nature of popular culture, especially its intermingling of complementary distribution sources, some cultural anthropologists, literary, and cultural critics have identified a large amount of intertextuality in popular culture's portrayals of itself. One commentator has suggested this self-referentiality reflects the advancing encroachment of popular culture into every realm of collective experience. "Instead of referring to the real world, much media output devotes itself to referring to other images, other narratives; self-referentiality is all-embracing, although it is rarely taken account of."<ref name="McRobbie000">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }} Cultural anthropologist and feminist discourse on cultural studies.</ref> Furthermore, the commentary on the intertextuality and its self-referential nature has itself become the subject of self-referential and recursive commentary.

Many cultural critics have dismissed this as merely a symptom or side-effect of mass consumerism; however, alternate explanations and critique have also been offered. One critic asserts that it reflects a fundamental paradox: the increase in technological and cultural sophistication, combined with an increase in superficiality and dehumanization.<ref name="Dumain000">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }} An essay on self-referentiality and American television.</ref>

The long-running animated television series The Simpsons routinely alludes to mainstream media properties, as well as the commercial content of the show itself. In the episode "Bart vs. Thanksgiving", Bart Simpson complains about the crass commercialism of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while watching television. When he turns his head away from the television, the screen shows an oversized inflatable balloon of himself floating past.

According to television studies scholars specializing in quality television, such as Kristin Thompson, self-referentiality in mainstream American television (especially comedy) reflects and exemplifies the type of progression characterized previously. Thompson<ref>She is the author of Storytelling in Film and Television. Her other publications include Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique (Harvard University Press, November 1999); Breaking the Glass Armor: Neoformalist Film Analysis (Princeton University Press, August 1988); and, as a co-author with David Bordwell; Film Art: An Introduction (McGraw-Hill College, January 2003); Film History: An Introduction (McGraw-Hill College, August 2002)</ref> argues shows such as The Simpsons use a "...flurry of cultural references, intentionally inconsistent characterization, and considerable self-reflexivity about television conventions and the status of the programme as a television show."<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Extreme examples approach a kind of thematic infinite regress wherein distinctions between art and life, commerce and critique, ridicule and homage become intractably blurred.<ref name="Dumain000"/>


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Self-referentiality
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